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Kids at school. Commons/Wikimedia
Kids at school. Commons/Wikimedia

New digital book written by schoolchildren from six Latin American countries

'Dream your story, write your future' was unveiled at the Bogotá International Book Fair and includes more than 400 children's stories.

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Wolves rescued by veterinarians, houses that float to avoid earthquakes, ships that travel to the past and even an elephant, a photographic artist... These are examples of how dreams take shape for more than 4,500 students from schools throughout Latin America who took part in the creation of Sueña tu historia, escribe tu futuro (Dream your story, write your future) a digital storybook launched on April 28 at the International Book Fair in Bogota, that brings together the learning and dreams of students from schools affiliated with Fundación Prosegur's Development Cooperation program, Piecitos Colorados.

It's an initiative that aims to improve the comprehensive education and quality of life of children living in vulnerable circumstances in Latin America, turning the school into an engine of change.

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With the purpose of encouraging and improving students' reading and writing habits from an early age, the First Latin American Storytelling Contest was launched in 2021, inviting more than 4,500 students from 36 schools affiliated with Piecitos Colorados to travel through time and imagine a new world through words. The children were trained in writing short stories, creating characters and using literary tone, supported by new techniques, such as computer graphics and podcasts.
 
Students between five and 17 years of age from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay sent 458 stories in which they gave shape to their dreams, including futuristic narratives with interplanetary missions, houses that float to avoid earthquakes, ships that travel to the past or anthropomorphic stories.
 
A team of literacy experts evaluated the formal aspects of each story (theme, literary genre elements, voice and graphic representations in the illustrated story category, among others). Subsequently, renowned writers of children's and young adult literature in Latin America, such as Irene Vasco, Gustavo Rodríguez and Sandra Siemens, selected the best stories. A digital book has now been published that brings together a total of 20 stories in three categories: five illustrated stories, 10 children's stories and five pre-juvenile stories, which will also be published on an online site that any child can access to motivate themselves and broaden their horizons.

 
Roxana Durán Vergara, manager of the Prosegur Foundation in Latin and Central America, said: "The contest became a trigger to develop creativity and broaden the horizons of the little feet; learning to write stories on various topics. This book is the testimony of a journey through the narratives of tomorrow in times of change. We hope that more children will dare to continue imagining, creating and writing."
 
The book launch at the Bogotá International Book Fair was attended by Colombian writer Irene Vasco and Weider Rubiano Orjuela, the winning student in the children's category. In addition, other student creators of finalist stories connected via streaming to share their experience from different countries in the region.
 
"I am very excited to know that my story will be read by many people in Colombia and other countries," said Weiber Rubiano Orjuela, author of the story "The Weaver and the Golden Cloth" and 4th grade student at the Eugenio Díaz Castro Institute - Chacua headquarters.
 
This digital edition, Dream your story, write your future, can be downloaded free of charge from: https://www.calameo.com/read/004396530bb9ee1c892ec.

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